Georgia Ghost Stories: Forsyth Park Inn
Forsyth Park Inn was originally known as the ‘Churchill Manor’ and built for Captain Aaron Churchill who settled in Savannah in the early 1890s after leaving Nova Scotia for the warmer weather in Savannah. Aaron Churchill began transporting cotton in and out of Savannah. He did so well that he began investing in cotton plantations in the area. So instead of shipping other people’s cotton Churchill was double dipping and made money shipping as well as a percentage of the sale of the cotton.
After making a fortune investing in cotton plantations in the mid-19th century Aaron Churchill and his wife, Lois, had everything they could want, including a beautiful home near Forsyth Park in Savannah. Despite their immense wealth, sadly, the two could not have children.
In 1899, Lois’ young niece, Lottie, came to live with the couple. Aaron and Lois loved Lottie and treated her as their own daughter. However, when Lottie was fourteen, another woman came to stay with the family as well. Her name was Anna, and she was introduced as Lois’ sister. Anna was recovering from an illness, and she and Lottie developed a strong bond during this time. The two became very close, and Lottie considered Anna to be a big sister.
One night as Lottie was getting ready for bed, she noticed her Aunt Lois and Uncle Aaron sharing a warm embrace down the hall. Unfortunately, as she got closer, she was shocked when she realized that her uncle was actually hugging Anna – not Lois.
Lottie was devastated by this. She felt betrayed and wondered what it would do to her family. She was not ready to give up her perfect life with her Aunt Lois and Uncle Aaron. Furious, she devised a plan to get rid of Anna- once and for all. The following morning, Lottie prepared tea for Anna and her aunt; however, she added a little something extra to Anna’s cup – poison.
As Anna took a sip of her tea, she began to choke. She fell to the ground and died in Lois’ arms. Young Lottie watched from afar, dreaming of her perfect family reuniting. Yet, a few days later at Anna’s funeral, Lottie learned the truth. Anna was her biological mother. Unable to provide for her daughter, she sent Lottie to live with her sister for a better life.
Lottie was horrified. She could not bear what she had done and went insane. She was committed to an asylum where she lived out the rest of her days.
Aaron Churchill died in 1920, followed by Lois in 1929. When they both passed away, the home was sold and used as a boarding home. It was later converted into apartments. In the late 1980s, the property was bought by investors and turned into The Forsyth Park Inn.
Visitors to the Inn claim to see a girl in a white dress in the halls and on the stairwell. Some say it’s Lottie while others claim the spirit is Anna. Rooms 10 and 11 in the basement are said to be the most haunted, while room number 8 on the second floor also has its fair share of paranormal activity. Guests in that room have reported hearing phantom footsteps at night and a child’s laughter.